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Carroll County mask-optional vote puts students, others at risk; Afghanistan withdrawal damages U.S. credibility | READER COMMENTARY

Mask-optional vote puts students, others at risk

I am writing in response to the Carroll County Board of Education’s decision to leave masks in schools as an option until the state board rules on it on Sept. 14. I find this decision to be, frankly, unconscionable. The four board members who voted for this, President Marsha Herbert, Donna Sivigney, Tara Battaglia, and Ken Kiler, are pandering to a very vocal group of anti-maskers who have a “not-so-hidden” political agenda.

They continually contend that their “rights” and their children’s “rights” are being infringed upon by the GOVERNMENT. The aforementioned elected officials gladly listen to this group and only to this group. They have not listened to county Health Officer Ed Singer, Superintendent Steve Lockhart, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Student Service Director Karl Streaker, Commissioner Richard Weaver, who was present for the vote, or any other group who would very much like to see masks mandated to begin the school year.

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These individuals were elected to represent the students, faculty, administration, and staff of CCPS. They were elected to make nonpartisan judgments regarding the education, health and well-being of all of the above. They have not done so.

Monday night’s emergency meeting was like watching a three-ring circus. The incompetence of these individuals is astounding. They don’t even know how to make an amendment and fell all over themselves when the board lawyer informed them that they would be in violation of the law with their proposed amendment.

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They are dangerous. They are putting the health and welfare of all students, teachers, administration, and support staff at risk. They are binding the hands of the superintendent and all Central Office personnel who so desperately want our students to have a successful school year. They should be immediately removed from the BOE.

In addition, President Herbert chairs the meetings with a complete lack of decorum. She conducts herself in a sophomoric manner as if she were a barker at a carnival instead of a woman who should be considering the welfare of 25,179 students.

I would urge everyone to email the State Board of Education prior to the meeting on Sept. 14 and let them know that these “pitchfork-toting vigilantes” are not representative of the majority of Carroll County residents.

Darwin, take the wheel.

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Denise Johnson, Sykesville

Students wear safety glasses. Why not masks?

OK, let’s be done with this nonsense. For 40 years I was an industrial arts, industrial crafts, technology education and STEM teacher. I taught industrial crafts, woodworking, machine shop, maintenance mechanics and STEM classes. Yes, I was a

In that time I never had a student lose an appendage to a machine in my class. And believe me I had some knuckleheads along the way. More important, I never had an accident occur involving an eye injury. Why? Because the State of Maryland had a law requiring students to wear safety glasses while working in the shops.

Did I have students that would argue along the way about the glasses looking dumb, or not fitting properly, or not liking the color of the frames? I told them they could complain all they want but the law is the law. If you are going to be in the class put the glasses on or get out. Never had one leave!

Now a bunch of folks want to whine about wearing face masks to school. What are you thinking? Safety glasses are worn in classes to save your child’s sight! Not even someone else’s! Yet you don’t want masks worn in schools because of your supposed rights — masks that could prevent the spread of this virus to your child, other children, and adults present in the school.

This is a virus that has hundreds of thousands. We have a law requiring safety glasses to potentially save a child’s sight, yet you don’t want your child to have to wear a mask that could potentially save their LIFE? What are you really fighting about?

Kent Doxzon, Union Bridge

School board is guilty of child neglect

The four members of the Carroll County Board of Education who voted against mandating masks in district schools are clearly concerned more about politics than they are about the health and safety of students and school personnel. Their disregard for protecting the county’s children and families, especially students under the age of 12 who are not eligible to be vaccinated, is most disturbing. If it “takes a village to raise a child”, then the Board of Education in the “village of Carroll County” is guilty of child neglect.

Alan Guttman, Baltimore

Afghanistan withdrawal damages U.S. credibility

President Biden was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Aug. 19 on a number of current issues. When discussing the debacle of a withdrawal from Afghanistan, here are a number of quotes:

Biden: “We’re gonna do everything in our power to get all Americans and our allies out.”

Stephanopoulos: “Are you committed to making sure that the troops stay until every American who wants to be out is out?”

Biden: “Yes.”

Stephanopoulos: “Does the commitment hold for the Afghans as well?”

Biden: “The commitment holds to get everyone out that should come out. And that’s the objective. Americans should understand that we’re gonna try to get it done before August 31st.”

Stephanopoulos: “But if we don’t, the troops will stay?”

Biden: “And if you’re American force — if there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them out.”

Rather than rant for the rest of this letter, I would ask one simple question: If you are an ally of the United States or have some sort of agreement or treaty with us, can you ever trust this country down the road to honor its commitments? I think not!

And just think, we have more than three years of this incompetence to look forward to. May God help and protect us!

Dave Price, Sykesville

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